Confirmed Speakers

Confirmed Speakers



Michael Forster, Ph.D., Chairman and Regents Professor,

University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC), USA


President of the International Society on Aging and Disease, and Past President of the American Aging Association

Dr. Forster is recognized internationally for research on the role of oxidative stress in age-associated brain dysfunction and in the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction. Dr. Forster is Director of the UNTHSC site for the National Institute on Drug Abuse- Addiction Treatment Discovery Program (ATDP), and has directed his program continuously with National Institute on Drug Abuse- Addiction Treatment Discovery Program (ATDP) for 20 years, evaluating and reporting on over 3,000 potential medications for the treatment of drug addition, using behavioral pharmacology methods of analysis.  In addition, Dr. Forster developed and validated rodent models for assessment of age-related changes in brain function, and established outstanding testing facilities appropriate for assessing the effects of long-term interventions.

      Dr Forster served on the editorial board of Experimental Biology and Medicine, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, and Journal of the American Aging Association, has been the recipient of numerous local and national awards for academic excellence, and has been awarded the title of Regents Professor. He is currently immediate past President of The American Aging Association, an international organization dedicated to basic research in biogerontology.



James W. Simpkins, Professor,

Director, Center for Basic & Translational Stroke Research

West Virginia University, USA,


Past President of International Society on Aging and Disease.

Dr. James W. Simpkins has served as Chairman of the Department of Pharmacodynamics, Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutics, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Aging at the University of Florida since 2004. Dr. Simpkins was appointed as the Frank Duckworth Professor of Drug Discovery at the University of Florida in 1996. He has more than 295 peer-reviewed publications, a dozen patents for his discoveries and has edited two texts on Alzheimer's disease therapy. He also served as the Director of the University of Florida Drug Discovery Group for Alzheimer's disease, which has sustained funding by the National Institute on Aging to support research in the pharmacotherapy for Alzheimer's disease. In 1999 he was appointed to the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alzheimer's Association. In July of 2000, he became the Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience and Director, Institute for Aging and Alzheimer's Disease Research at the University of North Texas Health Science at Fort Worth. Dr. Dr. James W. Simpkins is currently the director Center for Basic & Translational Stroke Research, West Virginia University, USA.


Ashok K. Shetty, Ph.D., Professor

Director of Neurosciences, Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, USA


Co-Editor-in-Chief of Aging and Disease

Associate Editor of Frontiers in Epilepsy


Ashok K. Shetty is Director of Neurosciences at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine located in Temple, Texas, and Professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine.  Dr. Shetty is also Research Career Scientist at the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple.

       From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Shetty served as a Charter Member of the National Institutes of Health Study Section CNNT (Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience ZRG1). He has also served as an ad hoc member of over 25 other NIH study sections, and as a reviewer of grant applications for over 12 international funding agencies from Germany, France, England, Israel, India and Singapore. Presently, Dr. Shetty is a charter member of the NIH Study Section, Developmental Brain Disorders (Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience IRG). Dr. Shetty also serves as an Editorial Board Member of many international journals, which include Stem Cells, Aging Cell, Stem Cells International, Current Aging Science, Frontiers in Neurogenesis, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, and Stem Cells and Cloning. Dr. Shetty is among the top 1% of scientists worldwide in the field of Neuroscience and Behavior, in terms of citations received for published articles over 10 year period.



Eric Gilson, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology
Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging, Nice (IRCAN)
University of Nice - Sophia-Antipolis - Faculty of Medicine


Before the 90’s, telomeres were mostly considered as DNA repeats of a certain length depending on the presence of telomerase. Overall, the work of Eric Gilson contributed to broaden this view by revealing an unusual organization of telomeric chromatin and unexpected links between this chromatin, telomere length, regulation and chromosome end stability and senescence. Therefore, his work had and still has a strong influence not only for telomere people but also for researchers working on the higher-order structure of chromatin, replication, DNA damage response, cancer and aging. Nowadays, the main objective of Eric Gilson research is to provide an integrated description of the telomere signaling pathways involved in aging and malignant transformation.
        In addition to his team leader position, Eric Gilson heads the Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging, Nice (IRCAN). Research at the IRCAN focuses on unraveling the pathways shared between cancer and aging, both at the basic and translational levels.


Thomas Rando, MD, PhD

Professor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Director of The Glenn Laboratories for the Biology of Aging, Deputy Director of Stanford Center on Longevity, Stanford University, USA

Chief, Neurology Service, and Director, Rehabilitation Research & Development Center of Excellence, Palo Alto VA Medical Center, USA


Thomas A. Rando is an internationally recognized researcher on the biology of aging, with a particular focus on stem cell aging. His lab pioneered the recent use of heterochronic parabiosis to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging and rejuvenation, demonstrating that factors in young blood are able to restore youthful molecular and functional properties to aged cells and tissues. Based on the seminal work from his laboratory, dozens of laboratories around world have explored systemic regulation of cell and tissue aging using heterochronic parabiosis. Recently, based on this body of evidence, a clinical trial was initiated to test the potential benefits of infusion of plasma from young donors into patients with early Alzheimer’s disease.

      Dr. Rando is Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is also the Director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging. He is Chief of Neurology at the Palo Alto VA Medical Center, and he is Director of the Center to Tissue Regeneration, Repair, and Restoration (CTR3) at the Palo Alto VA. This is a translational research center focused on the intersection of stem cell therapeutics, bioengineering, and physical medicine approaches to restore tissue structure and function after injury. Dr. Rando is Deputy Director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, a multidisciplinary program focusing on the challenges and opportunities of an aging demographic. He is also currently a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Hong Kong Institute of Science and Technology.



Ilia Stambler, Ph.D., a researcher

The Department of Science, Technology and Society, of Bar Ilan University, Israel.


His research focuses on the history of aging and life extension research. He is the author of A History of Life-extensionism in the Twentieth Century. In addition, he cooperates in mathematical modeling of aging and life-extending processes and is involved in advocacy for aging and longevity research.



Holly M. Brown-Borg, Ph.D., Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor

Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Therapeutics, University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences, USA


Holly is Past-President of the American Aging Association and current Biological Sciences Chair of the Gerontological Society of America. She is also Organizer of the International Symposia on Neurobiology and Neuroendocrinology of Aging, Bregenz, Austria.
A popular theory to explain the physiological decline that occurs during aging involves oxidative stress and subsequent damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids. Delaying this decline is associated with extended lifespan. Mice with hereditary dwarfism (Ames dwarf, df/df) and growth hormone (GH) deficiency exhibit delayed aging, living more than a year longer than normal siblings (P<0.0001), differences in antioxidant defense capacity, and lower DNA damage. In contrast, mice with high plasma GH concentrations live half as long as normal, wild type siblings and exhibit a depressed antioxidative defense capacity. The overall hypothesis is that the Ames dwarf mouse has a biologic advantage over normal wild type mice with better enzymatic scavenging of toxic metabolic byproducts and less mitochondrial membrane leakage underlying their enhanced longevity.

    Holly’s current studies are designed to further understand the relationship between cellular oxidation, hormones, mitochondrial activities, and aging in a mammalian model of extended lifespan. Determining the pathways and mechanisms that GH utilizes may suggest potential therapeutic interventions that could lead to strategies to delay aging, treat aging-related disorders, and extend lifespan in humans.


Guo-Yuan Yang, MD, PhD

CK Wong endowed Professor of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. China


Dr. Yang was a professor at University of California San Francisco and was recruited by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2008. Dr. Yang is the incumbent associate Dean of Med-X Research Institute, and Director of the Institute of rehabilitation engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Dr. Yang is also serve as a Board member of China Stroke Association; Vice chairman of the Society of Chinese cerebral blood flow and metabolism, CSA; Vice chairman of the translational Neuroscience Committee, Chinese Society of Translational Research Hospital; a Board member of Synchrotron Radiation Committee, the Chinese Society of Physics; and the American Heart Association. Associate director of the Academic Committee of Shanghai Rehabilitation aids with the well-being of the elderly. Dr. Yang is the associate editor of Stroke and Vascular Neurology, Editors of Stroke, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Aging and Disease, CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, Neural Regeneration Research, Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, Chinese Journal of Cerebrovascular Diseases, Stroke magazine, Chinese modern nerve disease, and guest chief editor of China tissue engineering research and Clinical Rehabilitation. Dr. Yang awarded NIH grants in USA, and many funding from China including the 973 project, Ministry of science and technology of China, National Natural Science Fund Committee, Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Has long been engaged in neurobiology, neurology and Neurosurgery, especially cerebral vascular disease of translational research, Dr. Yang published more than 230 scientific papers, the total impact factor (IF) more than 800. Cited references reached more than 10000 times.

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